The cold spell could pose risks to Louisiana sugarcane but could help Texas cotton

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey is concerned about what the deep freeze is going to do to crops in the south, specifically sugarcane.

“Those concerns will extend eastward to Louisiana sugarcane areas. We could see temperatures dropping to 20 degrees or below in some of the northern Louisiana sugarcane production areas. Hard freezes are expected throughout the region. Producers in Louisiana are just wrapping up this year’s harvest over the next few days, so there is a small amount of acreage still vulnerable. Then any new chutes that are starting to come up could be burned back. If it gets cold enough, some of that damage can extend into the root system, so we will be watching Lousiana sugarcane in the area as well.”

Rippey is hoping most of Florida’s citrus crop escapes any damage during this weather event but recommends producers in the northern counties of the state take precautions.

Even though Texas does not expect to have a white Christmas, the cooler weather still looks like it is going to help the cotton crop.

“This cold spell will finish off any green cotton that we still have, so there’s the good news. The other good news is we should be wrapped up for sure by Christmas. One of the big questions at this point is some of the producers had cotton in that they had not been able to get out. It’s been somewhat damp, just a little. Humidity is too high to get into the fields, so we’ve had a couple of good days for them to get in and run this week,” said Tony St. James with All Ag All Day.”

St. James says one of the issues is many of the cotton gins have already shut down for the season, which is uncommon for this time of year. He says that shutdown indicates a smaller crop in his area.